Believe it or not, 2015 is already in the rear-view mirror and we are already weeks into 2016! While the arrival of the New Year means that we entering the heart of winter here in the Washington, DC metro area, we are also making our way into a new digital world. Trends change incredibly fast in the internet age, meaning you have to closely track changes in the digital marketing landscape – unless you would like to be left behind. While there is no way to accurately predict what digital marketing will look like several years down the road, we at Vegau have a pretty good idea of what it is going to look like for the rest of 2016. The following are some of the top trends to watch for in the year ahead.
Video, Video, Video
If you aren’t yet using video as part of your digital marketing efforts, 2016 is the year to start. Video marketing was once an impossible dream on the internet, due to the limitations of load times. Now that high-speed internet is available on a widespread basis, those limitations have been lifted and videos are an incredibly popular way to reach an audience. From videos that are meant to be funny and entertaining, to those that introduce a product and its features, using video is a great way to make a personal pitch to your customers in the digital realm.
Okay – so maybe you won’t be able to automate everything, but you should be able to increase the amount of automation that is built in to your marketing efforts. In order to reach the biggest possible audience at just the right time, you need to have systems in place that reduce the amount of ‘leg work’ required each time you want to take action. Everything from from social media to email marketing and more can be automated to a degree, and investing in this part of your business is likely to pay off down the line.
The Wearable Revolution Continues
According to HubSpot, wearable tech is set to see an adoption rate of 28% by year end. Whether the tech is on your wrist, on your head, or elsewhere, there is no avoiding the growing use of these devices. When it comes to digital marketing, though - what does it all mean? As targeted buyers keep moving, the data will keep piling up, producing one heck of a personalized data set - and we all know how well Facebook advertising has done with personal data!
Have you heard of ad blockers for web browsers? Maybe you already use one yourself? While they can be a handy tool for a personal user of the web, they can be a nightmare for a marketer. After all, how are people supposed to respond to your ads if they are blocked right from the start? Rather than serving ads from a third-party as is customary on the web today, you might need to look into the world in native advertising. This form of advertising sees the ads built right in to the webpage, limiting the ability of an ad blocker to screen the content out.
Social Media Marketing
Nearly every business already uses social media for ‘traditional’ purposes such as interacting with customers, building a following, etc. But have you tried to run any ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn? More and more businesses are turning to this digital marketing technique - and we can speak on behalf of our clients by saying that they are succeeding with it! It is estimated than tens of billions of dollars will be spent on social ads as soon as next year – meaning you should take the time to investigate whether or not this channel is a smart choice for you.
Broadcasting? More Like Podcasting.
So podcasts aren’t exactly a new idea – but they are still relevant in 2016, and they likely will be for many years to come. Millions of people listen to podcasts regularly, on just about every topic under the sun. There are two specific ways in which you can use podcasts to promote your business – you can start your own podcast, or you can advertise on podcasts which are relevant to your niche. Obviously, it will require a greater upfront commitment of time and money to start your own, but the potential is great if it becomes a hit. On the other hand, setting up ads that will run on existing podcasts is a quick and affordable process.
The Mobile World
You already know that you need to consider customers using mobile devices when you build out your digital marketing campaigns. This point is to highlight the fact that you need to keep focusing on them – in fact, in most cases this segment of the market should probably be your main focus going forward! The majority of internet users are surfing via mobile devices these days, and there is no reason to think that will be changing anytime soon. With continual improvement of smart phones and tablets, there are fewer and fewer reasons for people to get onto a desktop computer, or even a laptop. If your marketing efforts aren’t currently aimed at finding the mobile market, that is something that needs to change as soon as possible - and it all starts with having a responsive, mobile friendly website design that search engines like Google will look upon favorably.
Digital marketing will be ever-changing, so there is no time to sit around and get complacent with your current campaigns. By staying in tune with the emerging trends – including those listed above and more – you will stand a much better chance at keeping your nose ahead of the competition. We wish you luck in 2016!